There is a line of thinking in drafting players that those in the first five rounds are prospect suspects while those taken later are suspect prospects. Roman Vopat was taken in the 7th round, 172nd overall, at the 1994 Entry Draft at the Hartford Civic Center. The St. Louis Blues selected the Czech center with their fourth choice.
Vopat had to go through the same process that affects many European players: He had to learn a new language, improve his conditioning for the longer season, and get used to playing on the smaller ice surfaces. To speed his transition the Blues brought him to North America to play in the Western Hockey League.
His rookie season was in 1995-96 when he saw playing time in 25 games. On February 27, 1996 Roman Vopat's career intersected with that of Wayne Gretzky when he was part of the package sent to Los Angeles for the Hall-of-Famer.
Vopat spent the next two seasons shuffling between the Kings and their minor league teams. In that time he appeared in 29 and 25 games, with nine and three points respectively.
Vopat was prepared for another season of trying to become a regular when the unexpected happened. After playing three games in the 1998-99 season he was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche on October 29, 1998. He was prepared to play for the Avalanche but was moved again on November 10th to the Chicago Blackhawks. His stay in Chicago was limited to three games before they too moved him. On November 17, 1998, he was on his way to the Philadelphia Flyers. Over the course of 20 days Vopat had four different employers.
He approached Philadelphia GM Bob Clarke to check if he could unpack. Clarke assured him that it was safe. Vopat did remain with the Flyers through the season but recorded only three assists and 80 penalty minutes. Philadelphia assigned him to their AHL team. On December 19, 1999 the Flyers gave him his release, and more recently, Roman Vopat has been playing in Europe.